Thursday, July 21, 2011

June 7, 2011 (9 Weeks)


Look for my little updates throughout the post below, because without realizing it, we've actually accomplished quite a bit in the last 6 weeks!

I just can’t imagine writing here and not talking about the baby, so I guess I’m going to keep on writing without actually posting until after I have finally seen my midwife (next week!) and heard those lovely little “thump thump” sounds of a healthy heartbeat.

So it seems this baby is going to be a little gentler with me during the first trimester than his or her older brother was two and a half years ago. A very lovely surprise, I had really prepared myself for the worst! I’m 9 weeks today, and yeah, there’s been some reflux , exhaustion, and tinges of nausea (usually when I’m hungry), but I am just so thankful that most of my symptoms have been really mild.  (Does this mean I'm having a girl?!)

What I really was afraid of was a wasted summer in which I neglected my little rambunctious toddler and was forced to choose the couch over the park, or television over the backyard for that matter. I saw myself wallowing in my own misery instead of living in the present, enjoying life with a delightful and thriving little boy who is currently talking up a storm and demanding hilarious dance parties multiple times a day.  (Dance parties these days are usually only initiated when he's hit a manic tired stage because we've kept him up past bedtime.  Manic tired Gus is pretty freaking hilarious.)

When I first wrote after finding out I was pregnant, I was clearly a little freaked. Good freaked, but yeah, freaked none-the-less. The sleep issues we’ve had with Gus just remain a dark cloud on my mind, and I was initially terrified and frankly overwhelmed with the progress that would HAVE to be made before the baby was born, just in order to survive.

It just seemed so daunting, as big changes always do, but what I have been able to remind myself of is that everything is so gradual. Gus will do so much growing up before next January. So much. When I think of how much he’s changed just in the last six months, how much better he’s sleeping included, it’s monumental. But it happened slowly, and didn’t feel monumental as we were living it.

Weaning is something that immediately became a big bold TO DO item as soon as I saw that second line, and it is so entwined with all the sleep stuff, of course, so yeah, just… so daunting. Also, though I never wanted to push it on him, I have come to the realization that it might not ever happen if I don’t push a little bit.

Good news is that it’s been not even a month and I already feel like we’ve made significant strides. I’ve stepped up my game with the “don’t offer, don’t refuse” strategy, and Gus has been completely fine with things. We were still basically nursing at nap time, bedtime, night-wakings, and in the morning, it all was such a routine that I realized I was just doing it out of habit, whether or not he really “asked” for it.

Well I haven’t nursed him at nap time for an entire week, and he has gone down just fine and has been consistently taking 3 hour naps when he’s at home. Victory! The past few nights have gone fine with just a bottle, when before we were doing a little of both. (Yeah, I’m admitting it; he still takes a bottle at night and usually before his nap. Judge if you’d like, but we pick our battles, and this one just seems so, well, low on the list of things that actually matter in raising a child, so we have simply chosen not to get ourselves riled up about it.)

I find that setbacks in the weaning process usually have to do with me and my laziness. He was up at 6:00 AM yesterday, and so even though I hadn’t nursed him all night long, which is a pretty huge feat, I was so tired that I grabbed him from his crib and brought him to bed with me for a lazy morning nursing session, simply to give me another 20 minutes of rest. I did this without even thinking, it was like my brain was on auto-set.

Ah well, setbacks are inevitable, and overall I feel like I can actually see a future not too far out where I am not nursing my toddler. So yeah, I’m feeling much more zen about the situation now, and am blaming my little helpless baby less and less for it, because really. I am READY TO BE DONE nursing Gus. Really I am. This time was coming, whether I had a baby in my uterus or not.

A little update on the weaning thing, yeah, I think we are officially DONE.  It's been many many weeks since we've nursed, actually, can't even remember the last time.  Oh, that's sort of sad isn't it?  Ahh well, not really, that just means it was time.  So glad and lucky we had such a great breastfeeding relationship for so long, and so thankful that it ended slowly, quietly, painlessly, just like I always hoped.  (Boosh.  Told you so Dan.) 

Also on the "big changes are coming to this household" front, we have started setting a plan for our family of four living situation. I know the baby will probably be in our bedroom for a while at the beginning, so it’s not completely necessary, but the idea of him or her not having their own space, for their little baby things, their clothes and toys, and a crib all ready to go when we decide the time is right for that… well I’ve realized that not getting all those logistics figured out before the baby is born just is not an option for me. I thought I could be laid back about it, but I really can’t. Mostly because I’m guessing that I’ll have even less time for big projects like that when I have to take care of both a baby and a 2 ½ year old.

So a tentative plan is at least set. The nursery will pretty much stay the same, one of the benefits of decorating it gender-neutral. We’ll get rid of the stupid toddler bed that’s set up in there (failed experiment), shift furniture back around, take the changing table back out of the closet, throw Gus’s hand-me-down drop-side crib out with the trash, and purchase a new one that isn’t a death trap.

New baby will take up residence there, and Gus will be moving on to bigger and better things across the hall: his big-boy bedroom, a.k.a. our current bedroom! I found some beautiful Danish modern furniture at an estate sale this weekend, an entire bedroom set for $180 that looks like it came straight out of the Dania catalog. Pretty pumped about this furniture, despite the fact that we have a garage/house full of unwanted furniture for which that we need to find homes. I think this new (to us) stuff will be perfect for Gus’s room, and I’m excited to put my energy towards creating a great space for him there. The nursery was my nesting project during pregnancy #1, and a little boy’s room will be my nesting project during pregnancy #2. This time around will be a little different, and mostly I’m excited to actually get to design a room based on a little person’s personality, his likes and dislikes, not just for some imaginary baby/child that I don’t really know yet.

This past weekend we actually made hard-core progress here!  My dad came over and in 100+ degree heat indexes, he and Dan shuffled around furniture for two hours.  This little project involved taking our mattress and box spring out through the roof access because they don't fit down the stairs.  And moving a huge bulky desk outside to the garage that we literally just moved downstairs a year ago.  And moving Gus's new dressers from the garage to his new bedroom on the second floor, and my dresser from the second floor to its new home in the first floor bedroom, and Dan's dresser from the second floor to the basement bedroom.  Good Lord.  My dad definitely didn't know what he was getting himself into when I casually asked if he'd come over and help Dan move around some furniture. 

So each piece of furniture is in its respective new home and we are one step closer to Gus's big move across the hall.  Dan and I are in the first floor bedroom now, and while I don't love trudging up the stairs in the middle of the night when the little guy wakes up, it's not that big of a deal.  It's actually quite lovely to pee without having to tiptoe past his room. 

We bought a new bed frame from IKEA that is low to the ground and more baby-friendly (going to try to avoid having new baby fall out of our bed in the middle of the night, OMG that was traumatizing).  So we are no longer sleeping on just our mattress on the floor, all co-ed like.  By purchasing the bed from IKEA though, we were able to hold on to our twenty-something roots a little longer.  ;)

Moving to his big-boy bedroom will involve transitioning Gus from his crib into a bed, i.e. a full size mattress on the floor. There’s no pressure there, but I would think it will have to happen before the baby is born. A few weeks ago he started climbing out of pack and plays, but he still hasn’t attempted the crib. I worry it’s only a matter of time though, ugh. Inevitable, I suppose. But again, no pressure, when we move him into our bedroom, we might even set up both the bed and his crib, make it a slower, smoother transition, so it’s not all, No More Crib! New Bedroom! New Baby Brother or Sister! All. At. The. Same. Time.

Can't wait for this transition.  YAY.

The piece of this plan I’m not super happy about is that Dan and I will be moving our bedroom to the main level of the house. A whole level away from my babies! The idea of it makes me a bit sick to my stomach, but I’m sure we’ll manage, others out there do. We will be getting a video monitor though, this time around, we’ve both decided that they offer a convenience and peace of mind that are most definitely worth the price tag. Funny that some things that seemed so extravagant or ridiculously unnecessary the first time around now seem like no-brainers, and some things we blindly put on our registry (like a bumbo, multiple boppy covers, tiny receiving blankets, bottle warmer [ok this one is so dumb, and not just because I planned to and did exclusively breastfeed]) were found to be just, well a huge waste of other people’s money.

Gotta say, it is nice to have a somewhat “seasoned” perspective going into baby number two. I’m hoping that it will help me avoid getting all riled up about things that don’t matter.

Nah. I’m sure I’ll find plenty to get riled up about this time around. That is my way after all.


Lisa said...

A. That picture of Gus is super adorable.
B. So glad to hear weaning was a success like you'd hoped (and you proved Dan wrong).
C. Cannot wait to see Gus's big boy room and how you guys have redecorated! Leave it to you to find a great deal like a beautiful set at an estate sale. Take me with the next time you go to one!
D. Getting riled up is what we do - embrace it. :)

Erin said...

So glad you didn't really have morning sickness that bad this time... that is a big relief. Also glad to hear weaning went well! I hope it wasn't painful for YOU at all (in terms of engorgement) as that was definitely my biggest issue.

Your thumb sucking comment on my blog was hilarious :) and I'm so glad I could sell you on a January baby - it is so true that if you're going to be holed up in the winter, might as well have a snuggly newborn while you're at it!

Betsy said...

I love reading your recent posts. I'm just such a slacker about commenting. I bet you will have tons of fun decorating Gus' big boy room. I can't wait to see pictures. Oh, and the pic of Gus is adorable!

val said...

Ohhhh. Alicia. Whatever leads to happiness and peace matters.

Nothing else does.

It's all changing and evolving and will come together in a new, interesting way.

it's fun to watch the process unfold. love, Val